Generally I do not prefer audiobooks over the real deal. Mindy Kaling however calls for an exception. Like David Sedaris, listening to this in publicGenerally I do not prefer audiobooks over the real deal. Mindy Kaling however calls for an exception. Like David Sedaris, listening to this in public is not advisable. Her writing is smart, candid and guffaw inducing. ‘Why Not Me ‘ deals with her journey from The Office to The Mindy Project and everything that happened in between. This includes quite a range of diverse topics from hair routines(all extensions) to shooting sex scenes (great fun). Talks about B J Novak, meeting the Obama’s and body image issues fit in there somewhere. My favourite section was undoubtedly the make believe alternate universe with Mindy Kaling’s Latin teaching alter ego. In spite of not being fond of romantic comedies (never saw those Meg Ryan movies) her epistolary narrative had me making emoji eyes. Mindy Kaling has the creative chops to rival any chick lit writer out there.
Beneath all the narcissistic and self depreciating commentary, the book has a heart. When the he laugh out loud moments gets spread out too far between the pages the book surprises you with some of Mindy’s very astute observations. This one was my probably my favourite:
“People get scared when you try to do something, especially when it looks like you're succeeding. People do not get scared when you're failing. It calms them. But when you're winning, it makes them feel like they're losing or, worse yet, that maybe they should've tried to do something too, but now it's too late. And since they didn't, they want to stop you. You can't let them.”
I loved reading her essay addressed to the girl in the panel. Mindy Kaling like her on screen persona (I am now more confused between the two) has her weak moments. She candidly observes “But it’s not that I think I’m so great. I just don’t hate myself. I do idiotic things all the time and I say crazy stuff I regret, but I don’t let everything traumatise me And the scary thing I have noticed is that some people really feel uncomfortable around women who don't hate themselves. So that's why you need to be a little bit brave.” Her commentary reminds me of the thousand things I have found problematic about both body shaming and populist “love yourself” campaigns. While I cringe at every fair and lovely ad, I find Dove’s every hair is beautiful campaign and Woman’s day free spa offers equally repulsive. There are all these posts about "loving yourself" as a subversive act, but when market forces and fucking advertisements are again directing how to love yourself then the breed of elitist self obsessed snobs produced are almost as bad as body shamers.
To conclude, Mindy Kaling die hard fan or not I would still recommend this funny and short audiobook to everybody. ...more
Why even bother with a review, it is Marquez, it is magic. It has the power to make you miss your station in the metro and spend restless nights thinkWhy even bother with a review, it is Marquez, it is magic. It has the power to make you miss your station in the metro and spend restless nights thinking about its meaning. ...more
I have often seen my uncle with his tattered and time worn copy of Gitanjali. He had read it so many times that the missing words do not bother him anI have often seen my uncle with his tattered and time worn copy of Gitanjali. He had read it so many times that the missing words do not bother him anymore. At an impulse I also bought a very colorful English edition in my 6th standard and it has remained in my book shelves obscured by heftier novels gathering dust and looking tattered for entirely different reasons. College curriculum is arguably a bad way of rediscovering a book which holds so much sentimental value for my loved ones. A college curriculum which moreover tests you on two randomly selected verses is a travesty. Thankfully two verses are sometimes just enough to catch a glimpse of the spirit which motivates you to find your copy and read and reread it several times.
There is a significant amount of difference among the Bengali and the English version. Tagore himself made the edits selecting 53 poems from the original Bengali collection of 157 poems. The other 50 were from his drama Achalayatan and eight other books of poetry. Other than Tagore, I looked at William Radice’s translation of the poems. It is a good exercise for those not brave enough to tackle the Bengali but who want a glimpse of the mellifluous rhythm and the topical imagery of the original. Some of the significant differences I noticed were the omission of the sensual imagery and sing song rhythm in Tagore’s version.
Here is an example:
Tagore Alas why are my nights all thus lost? Ah, why ever do I miss his sight whose breath touches my sleeping brow?
Radice Why does my night pass by with him so near yet not near? Why does my night pass by with him so near yet not near? Why did the touch of his garland not brush my neck.
Other than that I prefer reading ghat instead of beaches and sharad kal and veena instead of mid July weather and musical instrumental. This however is not to say Tagore’s version should be script. Reading Radice acts as an excellent supplement. Verse or prose, Tagore is quite capable of deftly weaving magic in both.
The reason why this collection affected me so much is because Tagore’s reaches for more than God. It comes as close to verbalizing the inexplicable as is humanely possible. It is full of a painful sweetness and a joy we have all felt and lost. The poems are full of awareness of its limitation and a continuous striving towards that ultimate goal. My favorite poems are the one involving God as playmate and mother. Like Alice Walker’s Shug Avery, the speaker in Tagore’s poems believe in a God whose “love loses itself in the love of thy lover”. His creation may be a marked by an awareness of its fragility, but he is not marked by an awareness of sin. At the center of the universe is man beloved of God. As a bride, a minstrel, a farmer, a child he strives for his grace through active engagement in the sensual pleasures of creation.
Sometimes texts have to find you in exactly the right time of your life to make a proper impact. When that happens they become regular companions. Gitanjali is one of those texts, Tagore is one of those writers. ...more